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A Hundred Million Suns

4.3 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 28, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2008 release. A Hundred Million Suns is the fifth album, following 2006's multi-million-selling Eyes Open, from the Northern Irish Pop-Rock quintet. Recorded in Germany and Ireland with Garret "Jacknife" Lee (U2, Bloc Party, REM) once more at the helm, the album sees them exploring a somewhat rockier, although still decidedly radio-friendly, direction than on the introspective Eyes Open. As evidenced by the single 'Take Back The City', the band's knack for writing catchy Pop hooks remains intact.

The Snow Patrol we meet on A Hundred Million Suns is a band facing the same dilemma that Coldplay met on 2008’s Viva la Vida; having conquered the world with a rousing, melancholy brand of MOR indie, where now? On the surface, A Hundred Million Suns seems to suggest, nothing especially new: producer Jacknife Lee, who first worked with the band on 2003's Final Straw and went on to work with the likes of U2 and REM returns to the fold; and an opening brace of songs suggest that a successful formula--chiming guitars, gentle builds, and Gary Lightbody's quavering, tremulous vocal--persists. Still, “Take Back The City", a windswept, electronic-tinged rocker, rather does for this band what “Dakota" did for Stereophonics, proving that a spot of sleek, synthetic motorik is not beyond their grasp, and there's a new, bright optimism to Lightbody's lyrics that sets the likes of “The Planets Bend Between Us" in light relief to some of Snow Patrol's earlier work. If you want experiments, though, you'll have to wait until the closing “The Lightning Strike", a 16-minute track in three parts that investigates Phillip Glass-style minimalism and electronic beats with some aptitude. --Louis Pattison
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 28, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B001F290EE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,832 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
After their silently brilliant "Final Straw," and pleasant rocker "Eyes Open," Snow Patrol has carved out their place in the crowded Brit Rock circle. "A Hundred Millions Suns" only solidifies the band's place, with the only major style change being more optimistic tunes, but the album still blends in with the band's previous work, which will surely please fans, and attract more fans with every radio single.

Gary Lightbody, not to be confused with Gordon Lightfoot, writes with a modern, but pleasant charm with each track as showcased in "If There's A Rocket, Tie Me To It," "Crack The Shutters," and "The Planets Bend Between Us." And while the band does have one of its more sleepier moments in "Set Down Your Glass," they still know how to rock. The first single, "Take Back The City" never fails to satisfy, delivering on the verses, and bringing their A-Game on the chorus. It's catchy and fun, only overshadowed by the album's highlight "Please Take These Photos."

In fact, the only major misstep is the aptly titled "Disaster Button." Maybe it's the out-of-place lyrics, or the tiring music, but the song just seemed to rub me the wrong way. The very definition of an epic song, "The Lightning Strike," which clocks in at 16 minutes, also misses its mark, at least until the `Daybreak' segment. Another critique you could give the album is that it is highly unoriginal. So much in fact, it's been done before by the band, take it or leave it at that. I was also completely perplexed at the strange "The Golden Floor," which sounded rather like a poor excuse for Radiohead-lite.

"A Hundred Million Suns" doesn't set out to drastically reinvent the band, as their contemporaries Keane and Coldplay have done.
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Format: MP3 Music
I've been a Snow Patrol fan since before they hit the main stream and I have been waiting for this disc for about 3 years. I've only had it a few hours but I can say so far it does not disappoint in the least. The sound is probably somewhere between Eyes Open and Final Straw.

1. If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It
Good opener. Has a Coldplay feel in certain spots.
2. Crack the Shutters
Excellent. This song is everything I love about Snow Patrol. May be my favorite song on this album.
3. Take Back the City
Really catchy. The first single released, has been available for a while. Try to listen to it without singing "OoohAoohAoooh".
4. Lifeboats
Folksy guitar pulls you in.
5. The Golden Floor
Catchy rhythm. Builds nicely but never really goes anywhere.
6. Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands
Typical Snow Patrol song name. Great song. Most upbeat one on the album.
7. Set Down Your Glass
Acoustic. Lovely song.
8. The Planets Bend Between Us
I may have spoken too soon. This might be my favorite now. Most likely to be used in a tv show.
9. Engines
The ooos are back. They get old pretty quick this time.
10. Disaster Button
The "explicit" one, look out. 1 F-bomb. Sounds a lot like track 3.
11. The Lightning Strike
Features more instrumentation than any other SP song I've ever heard. Brass, strings, piano, numerous drums, choir voices. If I didn't know better I'd say this was for a movie score. Finishes the album strong after two so-so songs. Instruments sound like rain. Seems to be a medley of sorts as the song changes significantly several times.

*song reviews are initial thoughts as I listened through the album the first time.
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Format: Audio CD
If you're a Snow Patrol fan, prepare to be blown away...this is unquestionably their best record to date. Aptly titled "A Hundred Million Suns", the lyrics are mainly centered around 'what's out there in this universe'.

But it's the music (and vocals) that take center stage here. "Suns" takes you to a beautiful, exciting, sonic wonderland. The recording and production quality is superb. The overall atmosphere created is peaceful and relaxing...yet brilliant and vivacious at the same time.

Disregard any comparisons to Coldplay...this is more in line with Copeland's "You Are My Sunshine", another great album. It's tough to single out individual songs as 'the best'...every one one flows together to form a harmonious other words, they all 'fit' perfectly on the record.

I don't quite understand some of the less-than-stellar reviews I had read before this was me, this is about as good as it gets for Snow Patrol. Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
Absolutely, completely love this album - listen to it on my way to/from work [1 hour each way] and through the day as background on my computer.
I've been listening to SP since the beginning - from the Polar Bear days - and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to them "grow up" - musically, vocally and lyrically over that time. I absolutely loved Eyes Open and Final Straw - but A Hundred Million Suns has me begging for more and being impatient for what SP can produce next time around. The lyrics, music and Gary's fantastically growing vocal capabilities, leaves me aching to hear more. Personally think Crack the Shutters is THE song on this album, followed pretty closely by Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands and The Lightning Strike. Heard/watched them perform most of this album live in Sydney, and it's as good live as on the album ... played with same perfection as their Eyes Open concerts last year. The ultimate professionals, full of so much enthusiasm for what they're doing. If this is the first SP album you ever buy / listen too, and like, make sure you get the two preceding albums. They round out the SP sound.
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Released in the USA today. So far I can't get Crack the Shutters out of my head. Thanks,
Oct 28, 2008 by R Marshall |  See all 6 posts
dvd/cd combo in available in US?
It seems like it is ...
Oct 4, 2008 by M. Henry |  See all 2 posts
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